Stephen Karlson (shkarlson) wrote in 50bookchallenge,
Stephen Karlson

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Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard have written a series of whodunits featuring murders or historical events: Killing Kennedy, Killing Patton, Killing Jesus, there are others.  Perhaps I should have learned from my relatively short reviews of these to leave Killing the SS: The Hunt for the Worst War Criminals in History on the shelf, but I got it at a bargain and we'll get a short Book Review No. 32 out of it.

There's not a lot that's new in his story, but perhaps I'm old enough to remember Heinrich Himmler committing suicide shortly after his captors identified him, and Hermann Göring committing suicide just before he was to be hanged, and Martin Bormann probably died trying to get out of Berlin, and the Israelis had to lay on a super-secret mission to kidnap Adolf Eichmann, as the usual sort of extradition conventions wouldn't have worked.

I did learn from the book that Israeli intelligence hoped to scoop up Josef Mengele as part of the same super-secret mission.  That failed.

My post title refers to a surprise.  Years ago, Frederick Forsyth's The ODESSA File comes up with a fictional story in the course of which Israeli intelligence prevents German rocket scientists working in the United Arab Republic (the Egyptian part, that is) from completing short range ballistic missiles to flip at Israel.  The truth, if Messrs. O'Reilly and Dugard are to be believed, is even stranger.  But you'll have to check the book out from your library to discover it.

(Cross-posted to Cold Spring Shops.)
Tags: history, human spirit, non-fiction, nyt bestseller, war

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